It is that time of the year again. Tanzanians will be packing their bags, and together with their families, they will be making taking long journeys across Tanzania to visit the relatives for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. It goes without saying that this can be a fun experience; families forging timeless memories over the long journeys to Moshi, Kigoma, Bukoba, Mbeya, and other regions.
However, a family trip like this can turn into a nightmare. Imagine accidents. Imagine punctures, imagine children getting sick even before meeting their grandmother. Anything can happen if a trip is not planned properly and safety precautions are not taken in advance. There is a thin line between life and death during holiday travels, and that line is called safety.
Then what do you do if you are travelling with your family that might include young children?
Plan. Prepare. Plan.
Don’t wing it! Make sure to plan for your trip before you get in the car with your family. Ask yourself many questions about what you need to take depending on where you are going e.g. boots for Christmas time in Moshi. If you are travelling with young children it is important to have a checklist of the things you will need to pack for them like medications, toys, etc. Involve your partner so you don’t forget anything. Like the adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Watch Out for Roadside Food
Do you take food from home or do you eat along the way? Taking food from home might be guaranteed a seamless journey. But are you going to miss the amazing chicken from Korogwe? Understanding how your family reacts to different types of food will help you make the right choice as a parent. Small children might require food prepared from home. If you have one of those stomachs that churn with a simple bite of roadside grilled corn, then don’t eat it. Eat in a restaurant that you trust. Eating everything enticing along the road has catastrophic effects. Diarrhoea is not your friend on the road.
Don’t drink & drive
Don’t drink and get behind the wheel. You risk your life and that of your precious family. If it happens that one is under the influence, a designated driver has to take the wheel. Either way, sobriety is advised during road trips because that is the only way you can make good memories with your family. Play games with your children by guessing the model of the car from a distance. Sing songs. Tell stories. This is what holiday time is all about.
Close to Christmas and New Year, many people are on the road. Some are drunk and others are terrible drivers who never took driving lessons in the first place. Driving defensively will be your saviour and that of your family. Follow the road safety regulations. You don’t have to go to 150Km/hr. You will arrive, don’t worry! But don’t forget to make sure that everyone has buckled up and young children are not sitting on their mother’s lap but on a child car seat.
5. Repair Your Car
In case you are travelling by your own car, make sure it is in the perfect condition for the journey. Taking your car to the mechanic for repairs will guarantee a journey free of punctures, engine heating up and other problems. It is not just the repairs that are important. It is important to make sure that you have items like a spare tire, jack and lug wrench, hazard triangles, fire extinguishers, etc. Better be prepared than sorry.
Family trips are most enjoyable when you are not caught off guard by things you didn’t think of because of proper planning. Protecting your family inculcates a culture of safety in your children, and prepares a future generation that will protect itself and its children. It all starts with you. Protect your family during this holiday season.